A Picky Eater and Weeknight Pasta

I would not consider myself a picky eater.  That being said, I do have a list of things I will not eat or generally avoid.

Jen's "I prefer not to eat" list
  1. Anything fennel flavored
  2. Mushrooms on pizza
  3. Corn that's not on the cob
  4. Venison
  5. Canned salmon
  6. Snails
  7. Yogurt
I'm sure there are more things, but these are foods I have tried or been asked to try but declined because of their gross factor.  I would say many people may agree with my list or may agree with a few but also have a few of their own to add.  Is there anything you absolutely do not eat?

Overall, I would not consider myself a picky eater.  I like spicy food and I'm fairly adventurous with my choices.  I will try just about anything once (except, again, for things with a big gross factor).  I can't remember if I was picky as a child, but I do know that I didn't like sausage patties or links at breakfast and I wouldn't go near green peppers.  I believe that as we grow older we either appreciate more diverse flavors or we can just taste things less and therefore things are more palatable.

I know that something I cook passes the Picky Eater Test if my stepdaughter will eat it.  She is the ultimate (and increasingly) picky eater and it's important to me to find things she will like.  I mentioned to my friend K.C. (who got married in this past July) that I was trying to find new meals to make and she passed along a recipe that was Picky Eater Tested by her husband and stepson.

I'm forever grateful to K.C. for giving this recipe to me because not only was it well-received by my picky eater, but it was extremely quick and easy to prepare.  I appreciating having a friend who really gets where I'm coming from.

I threw in some grape tomatoes that our friend Luke gave us last week.  The tomato added a nice flavor and a pop of freshness that balanced the creamy sauce.  My stepdaughter didn't eat the tomatoes, but this pasta was a nice compromise between Adventurous (me) and Picky (her). 

Linguine with Romano and Mascarpone
loosely adapted from Thirty Minute Pasta (though I've never seen the original) 
serves 4 as a main course and 6 as a side dish

8 oz of linguine (or any pasta)
4 tbsp mascarpone
3 tbsp grated Romano cheese, plus more for garnish
1 egg yolk
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
salt & pepper
pasta water
1/4 pound grape tomatoes

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Cook the linguine to al dent√©.  In a large bowl, mix together mascarpone, Romano cheese, egg yolk, and thyme.  Add 1-2 tbsp pasta water to the cheese mixture until sauce is creamy.  Drain pasta and add to the bowl with cheese mixture.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Slice grape tomatoes in half and toss with pasta.

Serve warm with grated Romano cheese.


  1. sounds amazing! i make something similar but use ricotta instead for marscapone. I will have to try this version.

  2. Meg, I just can't get into ricotta. I don't mind it in lasagna or other baked pasta dishes, but when it's highlighted the way this mascarpone is in this dish, I know I wouldn't have liked it as much.

  3. Ironically, one of the things I can't stand to eat is a grape tomato! I don't like the burst when I bite into them! I also can't stand the smell or taste of summer sausage or anything that has been in the vicinity of summer sausage. YUCK!! This sauce sounds good, though!

  4. My husband also hates ricotta and yogurt! I am less picky than him with produce and dairy (good with ALL cheeses and veggies and such...but I can't stand mushrooms), but I am very picky about meat. I think I am just sensitive to the texture, so we usually stick to chicken and turkey and ground meats.

  5. I have a real hard time with offals... I'm texturally challenged. Fois gras still freaks me out. I'm trying to expand but it's hard. I would absolutely eat the above pasta in the photo though.

  6. this looks so easy and tasty! I also don't consider myself a picky eater - but if something has blue cheese on it I generally won't even try it. It tastes like foot!

  7. Wow, lovely pasta...like the simplicity and looks so tasty...yummie!

  8. ohhh I adore marscarpone in just about anything - this looks delishhh :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!